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Free rides everywhere on New Years Eve, except TTC



The Star

Link to article

No free TTC rides this New Year's Eve

December 28, 2006
Josh Wingrove
Staff Reporter

There won’t be any free rides on the TTC this New Year’s Eve.

Many systems, including ones in Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax, offer free service on the biggest party night of the year. For the TTC, the cost of opening the doors – more than $1 million for the night – is simply too high. The last times TTC rides were free on New Year's Eve was in the '70s, said Danny Nicholson, TTC public affairs supervisor.

Rides are free in Mississauga, York Region and on GO Transit after 7 p.m., while Durham Regional Transit is free after 8 p.m., thanks to sponsorship from Ontario Power Generation.

Drivers will see a heavy police presence on Dec. 31, the final day of the Holiday R.I.D.E. stop-check campaigns of both the OPP and Toronto police. Toronto police have stopped 83,584 vehicles so far this season – nearly 20,000 more than last year – and handed out 287 suspensions.

“We’ll be there when the partying starts and when the partying ends. Hopefully, everybody behaves themselves in between,†said Toronto police traffic services Sgt. Larry Bryson.

The OPP have stopped nearly 650,000 vehicles so far this year, laying 289 charges. Both totals are also up since 2005.
Has TTC every heard of sponsors like the other system surrounding it?

MT has free 30 minute service from 7.00 pm to 3.30am on most routes. Increase of headway this year.

YRT is free after 7.00 pm until about 3.00 am.

BT is free from 7.30 pm until 3.00 am operating every 30-60 minute service.

DRT is free from 8.00 pm to 2.00 am operating on a Sunday schedule.

Burlington operates on a Sunday schedule until 3.00 am

Oakville until 1.40 am.

GO is on a Sunday schedule and free service after 7.00pm.

One life save from death as well injury pays for the free service. Same goes for a driver who was save from DUI charges.

Number of Drunk drivers are up this year
Good for the TTC. Lack of free rides is no excuse for being drunk behind the wheel of a car. To suggest such a thing takes away responsibility from where it actually lies.
if someone is gonna have the drink and drive attitude, they're not gonna use public transport just because it's free. i don't think it's an issue of money in that sense. it could be a money issue in relation to parking since people don't want to leave their cars in a parking garage and be charged extra. people also don't wanna leave their cars in some strange parking lot over night and risk a break in. in these cases, it pays to think ahead and leave the car at home in the first place.
when i was in the hospital for my SCI, i was in the same room
with someone that killed 2 people in a drinking and driving incident. the person didn't even know that he killed 2 people, while i was watching it on the news. some medical staff were disgusted in him. i'd hate to be in his shoes even though he can move his feet. which brings me to another point, life isn't fair alot of times.
The TTC was free on New Year's Eve, for several years back in the '70's and '80's. You'd think they'd be able to scare up a corporate sponsor or two to continue the tradition, wouldn't you?
I witnessed a severely drunk driver for the first time last night. I almost got side swiped, as did another car farther ahead. He then proceeded through several red lights, and almost crash into parked cars and oncoming traffic. I called 911 to report him. Less than an hour later, I saw a RIDE patrol set up in the area. The system appears to work, which is great.
I'd have thought Molson or Labatt would jump at the chance to sponsor something like that. They'd get points for the goodwill gesture, and then they could score massive advertising space (all the PSA's would mention their names, and the buses themselves could have the sponsor names on the roll signs)

At the very least tho, I don't see why the subway service can't be extended 24-hours for New Year's Eve. Having the last trains leave the core at 2:30AM is going to strand lots of people. Actually, 24-hour service should be looked at for other big late night events as well (like Nuit Blanche)
corporate sponsor or two

I thought about this to, but with the high cost of running the TTC and forfeiting revenue makes this almost impossible. How much are sponsors willing to spend? You would need 100's of sponsors to make up for lost revenue and extra cost of security to keep the drunken hordes from destroying equipment. If you have too many sponsors it loses it marketing effectiveness.

Everyone have a safe and happy New Year. :D

I included some Happy New Year greetings from around the world, can you figure out which language?

1. Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos
2. Bonne année
3. Buon anno
4. Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
5. Feliz año nuevo
6. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
GO didn't try to make up for their terrible service this past year on the last day. The 8:44pm was delayed before being cancelled at 9:05pm, and then passing the station at 9:10pm even though it was appearently just a "rerouting of an out of service train" from another track, complete with passengers. Next train was suppose to arrive at 9:44pm. It arrived "on-time" at 10:04pm.

Better yet, the GO buses that left Union after the last train arrived at PC GO at the same time as the train.

You wonder why Mississaugans laugh when people suggest a suburban rail extension to MCC, over subway.
The TTC was free on New Year's Eve, for several years back in the '70's and '80's. You'd think they'd be able to scare up a corporate sponsor or two to continue the tradition, wouldn't you?

But then we'd hear an outcry about how corporate advertising is destroying the public realm...
Free Transit: The Good-Bad-Ugly

As much I push free transit on December 31, is it worth taking it?

Things started off for me when I got on a MT 19S artic at 1917 where it had about 60 riders on it. It was almost at peak load when we hit PC GO station.

The lobby of the GO station was pack full of waiting riders for the 1944 train.

I would say there were over 200 riders waiting for the train at this point.

The station agent got on the PA a number of times telling riders to get off the track and stay behind the yellow line.

As the GO train rolled by us, it was pretty full and I would say it was about 70% full before adding in the PC rider. I got on the cab car and the upper level was about 40% full.

The train was not running at full speed heading into Toronto for some reason.

Saw an ALVR sitting at Long Branch with its lights off.

Most of the QEW/Gardiner traffic was leaving Toronto than going into it.

When we hit Union, the train over shot the accessibly platform and had to backup. Had to wait for the engineer to walk from the front engine to the cab car.

As we were about to backup, a rider forced open the door to get on forcing the engineer to go back and reset the door. That rider got on my car and level. The guard stated because of this rider we will have to wait a few more minutes before we could backup and debark. I said to the rider that he was reasonable for this extra delay and he laugh.

The train was about 15 minute late when the doors finally open to discharge the riders.

When we got to Oshawa, we were 22 minutes late. First time I have been that far on a GO train and wanted to take a look of the area, but being so late that idea was killed.

About 200 riders got on from what I saw at Oshawa, but I am sure there was more than that as we were a few minutes late departing as late riders were running to catch the train. This happen a few other stations as were just starting to pull away when the train came to a stop to allow late riders on.

Not sure what the track speed limit is here, but transports were passing us along the 401.

Again, more traffic was leaving Toronto than going to it.

Had to laugh at some of the conversations I heard heading into Toronto. "My first trip to the big city". "If it was not for the free transit we would not be going to the free events in Toronto". "Taking my kids to show them a good time that we don't have in our town".

We were 24 minutes late arriving at Union. I would say less than 700 got off the train.

Saw an east bound 505 being short turn at Parliament and not sure if this is the norm.

Took in the event at City Hall and we found a spot to get out of the rain.

Riders were piss off when they found out that the 1243 going west was now going to depart at 113.

You would think it was rush hour with the amount of riders waiting for both 113 train.

The stairs were pack full with riders waiting for the trains about 25 minutes before the departure and the security staff had their hand full. I saw 5 security crews, but I am sure there were more than them around.

When it was announced what track were being use, it became a mod scene trying to get up to the platforms. This was worse than rush hour as most of these riders did not care about safety or other riders. GO should had schedule different time to cut down on this madness.

Found riders crossing the tracks as they went up different stairs to get around this mob.

I got on the #4 car from the cab car.

26'iers bottles were being passed around openly.

We were about 2 minute late leaving caused by late riders.

I was on the top level and it was standing room only. A vast number of riders were walking through the car toward the cab car trying to find a seat and keep walking on.

The bottles were still being passed around. Very rowdy on my car.

About 20 riders plus got off at each stations as we head west. Even a fair amount of riders got off at the EX.

As we head down the stairs for my stop, found riders sitting on them as well in the walkway. Standing room only on the bottom level.

As we waited for the doors to open, announcement was made due to an emergency on the train and the train would not be moving until the emergency is over.

As I headed to the stairwell, it became a mod scene trying to get to the stairwell as well through the door. A fight spell off the train to go along with another that just broke out at the stairwell door. Umbrellas started to fly, but 26'iers started to fly with a number being smash on the ground.

Other riders along with me backed away from these fights and security came along with GO staff try to stop these fights. Security had their baton out in full length.

I would say about 300-400 riders got off.

Just missed my 19N because of this fight and the next one was at 209.

A unmarked Peel cruiser pull up to the GO station a couple minutes after the ambulance pull up. A few more Peel cars show up.

The last GO bus from Toronto pull in about 15 minutes later dropping off 20 riders and it was standing room only.

I made a bet that MT bus would be a 40' and not everyone waiting for it would get on and I was right. Riders were standing on the roadway where the buses would pull into and that group turned into a mod trying to get on the bus by doing a running push and shoving move. The driver call in to see what she was to do with riders waiting on the
platform that could not get on the bus as well being at crush load.

We left 20 riders on the platform and I counted 76 on the bus. We bypass riders at the Lakeshore stop as well another 15 at Park St. Driver stop at the ESSO station to change the sign to out of service because of the load.

We drop riders at a few stop up to Dundas St, but still at peak load. When I got off, there were still 65 riders on as we did pickup riders at a few stops where riders got off.

MT needs to have artic on after 2000 for Sunday service as the ridership demands it for it for the past years let alone for New Years. Even if an artic was on the route, it still would have left riders along the route. This is what happened when you increase the headway over the past years. Even the south bounds were close to peak load.

I wonder what OT and BT did for this late train as well with the size of the crowd? Unless OT had full size buses waiting for this train, the zone buses would never handle the load.

Good: Free transit and good PR.

Bad: Service does not meet the ridership demand.

Ugly: Mob scene, fights.

I cannot remember if GO has done this before, otherwise it exceeded their expectation. Ridership was at least 600% more than you would find on a normal Sunday service train for the last train if not more.

The GO train pull out about 210.

Would we do this again, NO!! as it not worth the hazel?

I heard there was no GO Service on the rail Monday and buses were being use. This was around 5.00 pm.